May 23, 2019
If you were at our recent rummage sale, you probably saw a smiling man in a plastic crown at the checkout counter. That’s Tom Dula, Galilee’s “King of Deals.” He’s an excellent salesman.
But this gold crown is only one of the hats that Tom wears. He is also a board member of the charitable organization Help 4 Our Children, a 501(3)c nonprofit that Tom and others started with the help of Galilee’s former pastor, Wayne Snead. As a board member of Help 4 Our Children, Tom was in a great position to aid needy families who came to the 2019 Costa Rica Mission Fund Rummage Sale.
Tom Dula, the undisputed “King of Deals.”
“Help 4 Our Children is a grant-making organization that works with other nonprofits in Loudoun County,” explains Tom. “It concentrates on helping children by improving equity of educational opportunities, food security, and access to heath and well-being support. We’re always looking for new ways to help kids.”
So how did Help 4 Our Kids get involved in the rummage business?
“Earlier in the year, our board members met with Grant Shafer, the supervisor of Outreach Services at Loudoun County Public Schools, to discuss ways that Help 4 Our Children could have the most impact. He mentioned that there were students in every school whose families were in need of clothing and household items.”
“It dawned on us,” says Tom, “that buying items at a rummage sale would allow us to stretch our funds when helping these students out. We contacted Mr. Shafer when the rummage sale dates were announced and he distributed that information to all the Parent Liaisons, who issued vouchers to families needing help. Those families brought the voucher to Galilee’s rummage sale, where we told them to shop for whatever they needed. At checkout, the purchases were totaled and Help 4 Our Children wrote a check to cover the amount.”
Tom ignores the haggling customers to keep his figures straight.
“In total, seventeen families from six different schools came to the sale. They expressed deep gratitude. To see the smiles and sometimes tears of joy on the faces of children and adults as they found clothing and items that they needed and would be able to take home without worrying about paying was great.”
“Live were impacted and that is what we try to do with each grant.”
Ordinary people with an extraordinary purpose.
Tom and his wife, Julie, are longtime Galilee members. Tom’s been here 30 years, with Julie being a bit of a newcomer at over 20. Tom says that it’s the location, close to his home in Countryside, that brought him to church, “But it is the people of Galilee who have kept me here.”
Galilee members Tom and Julie Dula are real caricatures.
Tom has served on all the various boards and committees that a Methodist church has to offer over the last 30 years. “I was Lay Leader for six years and taught also numerous bible studies. Julie is very active with Backpack Buddies and has volunteered in that capacity since it’s inception, as well as delivering food donations to Loudoun Hunger Relief.”
The Rummage Sale, which was held on May 8 and 9th, raised over $9000 for the Galilee Mission Fund, which will help pay for two teams to visit Costa Rica later this summer. In addition to air fare, the money will go toward housing, construction materials, and food.
Tom Dula, the “King of Deals,” says, “The impact of the donations to the rummage sale will reach from Sterling to Costa Rica, and beyond. Help 4 Our Children hopes to continue its participation for many years, as it is certainly a way to stretch each dollar and make sure that the money that we raise has the greatest impact on those in need of help.”